Saturday, April 10, 2010

Insane in the membrane

I've heard this from several people. Finally we're having some nice weather in Minnesota, and soon it will start getting TOO hot outside. Everyone else is enjoying this brief window of nice weather, and I'm sitting inside on a trainer. WTF?

The deal is, I have a goal, and I have a plan, and I'm sticking to it. The big problem is all these f*ing suburbs. I have to ride for at least an hour just to get to a road where I can do just one interval without interruption. And then I'm basically riding back and forth on this one road which is not much fun, even if it is outside. So, except on days like tomorrow when I just have to ride my bike, I'm on the trainer. I've found out that, unlike the more athletically gifted, I can't just go out and ride my bike and be competitive. I have to work harder to be at the same place as others. And so it goes.

Today the plan called for "OverUnder" intervals. Carmichael likes to run words together and make like they're something proprietary. Basically you ride just under your lactate threshold, then over, then under, etc., without resting. The idea is to simulate being in a race where you're already on the rivet and then have to respond to surges and attacks. It's very effective! It's hard to get this kind of training outside of a race. I did the first one last Saturday, which called for doing them twice before resting, that is, under/over/under/over rest. Four of these sets in the workout. Today called for doing them three times before resting; what a difference! The chart below was from last Saturday, and shows a pretty tight chart. No falling off, no jagged lines indicating too much difficulty completing the intervals:

Today, though, starting with the third repeat, things started going south. After the second "over" it was hard to maintain the "under" tempo. For the second set, I really struggled, which can be seen pretty clearly, and couldn't do the third interval. Third set was even worse! Although only three sets were called for, I felt lame for not being able to finish the previous sets, so I put in one more after half the rest time, and could only complete one. Put a fork in me, I'm done!

I don't know whether to be discouraged, or to be pleased knowing I'm working as hard as I possibly can. I'll get some kind of idea how this is all working out on Tuesday for the first Opus crit. It's still early in the training plan, but I should be able to do at least as well as years past when I had no plan. That is, stay with the field for the whole race.

Tomorrow is just "endurance miles" so I'll get outside in the morning and enjoy the ride.